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Around The Horn, 10/21/2007

  • I'm really starting to like coach Tom Masella of Fordham. He goes out and coaches a huge win for Fordham by pretty much dominating Lafayette 34-23, and then he turns around and says, "I'd say we're officially in the mix for a Patriot League championship." Um, coach? If you beat Bucknell, who's winless in the league, and beat Holy Cross at home, you ARE the championship... that, sir, is not "in the mix". That's "in the driver's seat". Sophomore QB Josh Skelton is just getting stronger and stronger, completing his first 11 passes on the day on his way to a 323 yard passing day with 2 touchdowns passing and one running. He says how they kept Lafayette on their back foot: "We knew they'd blitz a lot and I think our first three of four passes were all screen passes and that helped us get them off balance. Then once we were able to figure out their blitz we were able to get it downfield." Here's something else: they're the first team to have figured out Lafayette's blitz all season. Two weeks from now, Fordham will in all likelihood be facing Holy Cross in the Bronx for the championship, and I think they have a great chance to do it.
  • With Lehigh's tough time this weekend, what has fallen under the radar a little bit is how Lafayette has lost their last two games. That school in Easton is 4-3, but with wins over Marist, Columbia, a Joe Sandberg-less Penn, and Georgetown, their fans are also wondering how they will be finishing up the year as well. Although still techincally in the playoff chase, they need some help as they've now lost to Fordham (who beat Lehigh) and lost to Princeton and Harvard (whom Lehigh beat). Granted, their backfield has been injured extensively, and sophomore RB De'Andre Morrow has taken up the rushing load, but senior QB Mike DiPaola has struggled being "the man", especially against the better teams. Last week, he went 16 for 34 for 166 yards, 1 TD and an interception, prompting Tavani to put in sophomore QB Rob Curley who promptly went 11 for 12 for 107 yards and 1 TD. Can you say, "QB Controversy"?
  • Colgate refused to go away in the Patriot League title chase as well, as they picked up a nice out-of-conference victory against an old "friend" in Towson. In their 27-17 victory over the Tigers, they also got an assist from Towson QB Sean Schaefer, who lofted three interceptions. But super junior RB Jordan Scott ultimately wore down Towson's defense, pummeling them for six first down runs in the fourth quarter and putting away the game-clincher with 45 seconds left. "I think we just stepped our game up as an offensive unit," Scott said in typical understated fashion. They will be a tough out the rest of the way, and their game against Lafayette next week will be in effect an elimination game for the loser. Should be a dandy.
  • Finally, Georgetown won their first game of the year in Lewisburg, PA by a 20-17 score and giving head coach Kevin Kelly his first-ever Patriot League win as well. It was a game where the Hoyas battled through their own mistakes, with a fumble and senior QB Matt Bassuener throwing two interceptions. But Bucknell could not capitalize on the errors, and after Bucknell tied the game at 17 on 8 yard TD pass to freshman WR Shaun Pasternak from sophomore QB Marcelo Trigg with under 1 minute remaining. But a bad squib kick allowed the Georgetown offense to drive to the Bucknell 21 and allowed Georgetown to boot the game-winner through. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, though, senior WR Kyle Van Fleet, who had two key receptions on the game-winning drive, had a broken hand with torn ligaments - which could deprive Georgetown of one of their better offensive players.

Comments

stats guy said…
While I enjoy your blog, you surely can't be serious that Fordham's and Holy Cross's ability to reach "lower" AI students is what's propelled them to the front of the class in football this year. I have no idea where you'd get the stats you're using, but here's one that's easy to come up with: those two schools combined have won exactly one of the last 15 league championships. Meanwhile, Lehigh, Colgate, and "that school in Easton" have pretty much dominated the league. Does that cause a "hmmm" moment?
Anonymous said…
Sadly, LFN has become almost as big an embarassment to Lehigh football as the Holy Cross game.

First we have outlandish statements about Sedale's skills -- he is simply not a good passing QB with the stats to prove it.

Then the silly "Boo Birds" post a few days before the Goodman debacle. I do not think college athletes should be booed under any circumstances, but that came as close to a justification as I have ever seen.

Finally you cast aspersions on the admission standards of PL rivals. Shame on you!!

How about a clear-headed look at how Lehigh got into this fix. There are numerous questions that need to be answered, particularly about the coaching staff. Make yourself useful for a change.
Anonymous said…
Patriot League composite records:

W L T Winning Pct
Colgate 70-43-1 61%
Lafayette 64-50-1 57%
Lehigh 81-34-1 70%


Fordham 32-65-0 33%
Holy Cross 60-55-0 52%

yup it's working Fordham and HC have certainly stumbled on a long term formula for victories. Fordham has never been consistently good and most of the Holy Cross wins came in the first few years. WAAAAAAAAAAAAH
Anonymous said…
I love the phrase "virtual floor." It is no revelation that Fordham has had the lowest AI floor and average in the league, by a large margin, but it has always been that way. Where you are dead wrong is with Holy Cross, who has has the highest average AI for its football recruits every or nearly every year. It is a fact that HC's average AI was even higher than Georgetown's last year and it is no secret that HC has been the hardest school in the league to get football players admitted, regardless of what statistics you find.

I agree that standards have a major impact on recruiting and success on the field. That is a major reason why HC was down for so long. However, the present success is in spite of their high standards, not due to a relaxing of their standards. Maybe you should take into consideration the coaching situation?
Anonymous said…
Chuck I usually liked to read this blog, but after the last few postings why should I waste my time reading your garbage?
Lehigh 74 said…
I think it's no coincidence that Holy Cross and Fordham just happen to have the two best quarterbacks in the league right now. Quarterback is by far the most important position on the football field. If you look back on the history of the league, most of the time, the champion just happened to have the best or one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When Colgate had Vena and Lehigh had Stambaugh they dominated the league, not because the team was so much better than everyone else but because the quarterbacks were better than everyone else. If Tom Brady played for the Jets instead of the Patriots do you think the Patriots would still be the best team in the NFL?
Anonymous said…
Ya know,

Regardless of the merits of Chuck's opinion, I must say, this is but another example of Lehigh's continuous excuses whenever anything comes up a little short.

Could this season possibly have anything to do with quality of play, coaching ability, lack of desire?

Lehigh needs to get its own football house in order and not be so concerned with describing others in its league in search for another entry in a long litany of 'whines.'

Lehigh is fast becoming 'the school we all love to hate.'
Lehigh 74 said…
It's good to know that the last poster speaks for all Patriot League fans far and wide. This is a Lehigh blog. If you don't like it don't read it!
Anonymous said…
Coming out flat for the biggest game of the year, no game plan, no emotion, all point back to coaching. Where is the leadership on this team. How many times do we have to hear Coen say this loss is on my shoulders. Give me a break. We all knew Holy Cross was going to throw the ball. And what happened to all the pre-season talk about the secondary being the strength of the defense. We'll have to be lucky to beat Georgetown. At least they are playing inspired football. Where or where is Lembo.
Anonymous said…
"virtual floors" .... Academic Index .... boo hoo
Anonymous said…
Chuck, when you're done with the tissues, please pass them over here. Tear, tear. I think Chuck needs to be picked up by the waaaaaambulance.
Anonymous said…
Weren't we being told a few weeks ago that a certain Lehigh player was looking to be still "playing football on Sundays" after this year? Apparently the NFL scouts don't know about it:

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/searchcollege.php?draftyear=2007&colabbr=L
Anonymous said…
All the excuses in the world don't change the facts. As a long time Lehigh fan it appears to me that the problem is with the coaching and leadership on the team. Team captains cannot motivate the team, and the coaches have no ability to create a team that has the intensity to win. Everything needs to change.
LU82Engineer said…
Yes, the Lehigh football program is down and some folks are happy about that. But, as Lehigh fans, we shouldn't be making excuses. As many posts have stated, the team seems to be poorly coached and there is a lack of leadership. When Lembo was here the word on the street was the players hated playing for him but that acted as a rallying point for the team. Coen is supposed to be a "players coach". Well it's about time the team started playing for him. Hopefully, if there is a problem, it gets addressed quickly and we begin to move forward strating with next season.

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